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How to Shop for Back to College

Back to college can be a bit of a different animal than regular back-to-school shopping when in middle or high school. Especially if you’re in your own dormitory or apartment for the first time, you may find that you need many essentials just to make everyday life comfortable. From furniture to storage solutions and electrics such as a vacuum, there are a few items to keep in mind that should be on your to-buy list.

How Do I Outfit My Space?

Whether you’re in a dorm or in an apartment, college life can equal tight quarters. Storage solutions are key for any room, whether you’re outfitting your bedroom or other common spaces. Some effective, economical solutions include pieces such as:

  • Portable closets or wardrobes
  • Closet organizers
  • File cabinets
  • Bath and beauty organizers

You may also find that your bedroom is also your office/workspace, so you may want to consider furniture such as a small desk or laptop nook, and a comfortable, ergonomic chair for long hours of studying. Make your bedroom feel cozy with bedding that complements your style and decor. Complete bedding sets, such as those that include sheets, pillowcases, and a blanket or comfortable, are ideal for any season.

How Do I Prepare for the Climate?

If you’re travelling far away for college, it may be a different climate than you’re used to. Whether you’re shopping men’s clothing or women’s clothing, prepare for any type of weather, from hot and humid sunny days to frosty blizzards (if you’re in a spot that has all four seasons). Also, keep in mind you’ll be walking to class on some chilly mornings. Some must-haves for both men and women include:

  • Hoodies and pullovers
  • Sweatpants and sweatshirts
  • Layered basics (such as T-shirts, tank tops, and thin long-sleeve shirts)
  • Sportswear (such as tights, sports bras, and runner’s gear)
  • Athletic shoes
  • One to two cold-weather coats

If you’re walking to school and spending an entire day on campus, it’s a good idea to dress in layers so you’re comfortable as the day progresses. No matter where you’re attending class, there will be a lot of rainy mornings, so having one good pair of rain boots is a must-have essential.

What Are Some Other Must-Haves?

There are a few other items that are on the must-have list, especially if you’re allowed to have a car on campus. Some of these include:

  • An automobile. Vehicles and cars are an important part of campus life, and finding a reliable new or used car is crucial to your college experience.
  • School gear. Just like back in high school, you’ll need adequate backpacks, pens, and school supplies to get through the school year.
  • Cleaning and kitchen items. Prepare to clean and cook more than you do at home, so make sure your kitchen and pantry is stocked with items such as coffee maker, blender, vacuums and more.
  • Electronics. Maybe now is the time to upgrade your cell phone, or consider a new laptop. You may also find music an important part of studying, so look for portable audio and speakers to help get through the semester.